Hot Dogs and Cocktails: When FDR Met George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson

Peter Conradi, Author
Peter Conradi. Alma (IPG, dist.), $26.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-84688-294-4
Reviewed on: 12/23/2013
Release date: 12/01/2013
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-84688-316-3
Open Ebook - 299 pages - 978-1-84688-293-7
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The first official visit of a British monarch to the United States since colonial times was a widely publicized event. Apart from improving the relationship between the two powers, the short stay of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Hyde Park-on-Hudson in June 1939 had significant political impact: it set the stage for a partnership between the two countries during WWII. Conradi (coauthor of The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy) eloquently lays out the setting for the event and concisely and thoroughly establishes the backgrounds of the individuals and countries involved. The media also play a notable role in gauging America's reaction to royalty, represented well by the question asked in the weeks leading up to the visit—"would the King and Queen be served hot dogs during the picnic that their hosts planned to hold for them?" Conradi even details the logistics of travel as well as the event's disasters—including F.D.R.'s toast to the Queen's health—and its successes—both the King and Queen asked for second hot dogs. It's an amusing read with substance, revealing how important seemingly trivial diplomatic overtures can be in determining the course of history. 16 page b&w photo insert. (Mar.)
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